Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
On October 31, 2017, Lutherans (and other Christians) around the globe will be commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. On that date in 1517, an obscure (except in the region surrounding Wittenberg where he taught Bible at the University) monk posted 95 Theses with this intention of starting a scholarly debate over needed reforms in the church. What resulted was a widespread needed Reformation and sadly a schism of the church (which is finally seeing healing through the tireless efforts of Lutheran and Roman Catholic theologians). As a church in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, St. James is part of this historical legacy.
A bunch of things will mark this significant anniversary at St. James. For the last four months, a Ministry Team - led by Judy Jensen - has been meeting and planning. Fun activities, educational opportunities for children, youth, and adults, fellowship moments, movies, a book fair, a Reformation Faire, and a German-style potluck are all in the works. Pay attention to website, bulletin, and weekly emails for details. Each day, on the St. James website, we will post a daily Luther fact which Vicar (soon to be Pastor) Andrew Lewis researched and provided commentary on for us (click here to read today's Luther fact).
For my part, I am excited to be work on two efforts. Along with Dr. Gary DeKrey, historian and part of the St. James community, we will be hosting a two-week Adult conversation on Luther's ideas. Starting on September 17, I will also be posting a daily, seven-week blog on my website: www.Lightfromthishill.com.
In the spirit of ongoing Reformation, this blog series, entitled "From...to...", will raise seven areas that need reform within our church today. Through sharing my perspective as a pastor with over twenty years of experience teaching and preaching in the church, I will raise some questions and invite conversations. I will be using Isaiah as a scriptural background with a passage from this prophet (which Luther taught at Wittenberg) selected for each day. I hope you will join me for this journey - a link will be emailed out daily through St. James email and Facebook. For those who prefer a printed copy, these will be made available on Sundays at St. James.
It continues to amaze and delight me to be a part of a church that God's Spirit continues to make anew.
See you in worship,